All hail the cabbage! Humble. Long-lasting. Tasty. Crunchy. Overlooked. Packed with Vitamin C and calcium. (Red cabbage is loaded with anti-oxidants.) So long, kale! You have outstayed your welcome.
I’m still flushed with enthusiasm for New Year’s Resolutions, which always include saving money and eating better. And I’d like to cut down on my carbon footprint. Luckily the grocery store is under 2 miles away, but if I only head in there once or twice a week, it is better than making a daily errand destination. It’s bad enough that I am going to stop off at Target later…
A cabbage is cheap, and packed with nutrition, as well as being versatile and large. The last cabbage I pulled out from the heap weighed 4 pounds, just brimming over with meal potential. You can easily spice up your weekly menu without spending lots of money. And cabbage doesn’t have to be just the stinky accompaniment to corned beef once a year. There are lots of new and enticing ways to prepare cabbage. I’ll bet you that right this minute someone in Park Slope is experimenting with an artisanal bespoke organic cabbage smoothie, infused with saffron and CBD.
Here is a lot of practical and basic info from the geniuses at Bon Appétit: https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/tools-test-kitchen/article/cabbage
When winter rolls around we tend to think of oven-baked meals as a way to keep the kitchen cozy and our little bellies full. Whenever we do pork chops I always think of cole slaw and apple sauce as good side dishes. Samsin Nosrat (Of Salt Fat Acid Heat fame https://www.saltfatacidheat.com) has a better idea than my mother’s 1950’s Hellmann’s mayonnaise-inspired slaw dish. You should try this: Samin Nosrat’s Bright Cabbage Slaw. It incorporates cabbage and apples, without the fat and calories from nostalgic mayonnaise. It is a bright treat on a dark winter night. https://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/samin-nosrats-bright-cabbage-slaw/ You can pretend you are in California. (This is originally Michael Pollan’s recipe from Chez Panisse.)
Nigella’s Sweet and Sour Slaw is a little more time consuming – it might be perfect for a Saturday night meal, and it is quite festive and tasty. http://www.sweetpaulmag.com/food/nigellas-sweet-amp-sour-slaw
Now you can take your new knife skills and try something fun for Taco Tuesday: Not Your Traditional Korean Tacos. Our friends at Food52 always have a tasty and clever solution for dinner, and these fresh Korean tacos will set you apart from the salt-laden Old El Paso-recipe dependent households. https://food52.com/recipes/17897-not-your-traditional-korean-tacos
An even more sophisticated take on cabbage and wraps comes from Bon Appétit: One-Skillet Hot Sausage and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Chives. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/one-skillet-hot-sausage-and-cabbage-stir-fry-with-chives Mr. Friday is always buying Italian sausage, and we wind up using it just for sausage and pepper dishes, or as pizza topping. This adds another meal to our burgeoning repertoire for 2020.
And where would we be in the midst of winter without a scrambler recipe? That is, a recipe where everything is already on hand; in the fridge, in the pantry, in the larder, ready to roll: Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash and Walnuts. This will take care of a lot of leftovers, particularly that half bag of walnuts from the Christmas baking. No need to go out in the snow! https://food52.com/recipes/78397-pasta-with-cabbage-winter-squash-and-walnuts
Cabbage probably won’t ever be the fleek media darling that kale was, but it is always dependable. Like an old friend, or an old pair of jeans. You remember it fondly and it soothes your soul.
“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”-Mark Twain